Slow voting in East Kingston

BY INGRID BROWN Senior reporter browni@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 26, 2012

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ELECTION day workers are sitting idly by awaiting the few voters who have been trickling into the Windward Road Primary School in East Kingston to cast their votes for the candidates contesting the Springfield and Norman Gardens Divisions.

Nearly two hours after the polling stations opened, EOJ's office manager for Kingston East and Port Royal Michele McGowan Edwards said less than 50 persons have since voted.

"It is the first I am seeing it so slow it is even slower than normal," she told the Observer.

She said the first voter did not show up until half and hour after the polls open and since then there has not been a line.

"The most persons we have had at any one time is three or four," she said.

People's National Party (PNP) councillor candidate for Norman  Gardens Division Angella Browne Burke and the Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal Phillip Paulwell were among the early birds to cast their ballots.

Brown Burke admitted that voter turn out has been even slower than normal but said she expected it to pick up as the day progresses.

"There are some persons who believe they have done their duty having voted in the general elections and so we have had to increase the public awareness to get them out for the local government elections," she said.

Here in the PNP stronghold Windward Road community the only visible colour is orange as there are no green clad outdoor agents as is normally the case at some other polling stations where Jamaica Labour Party and PNP outdoor agents work side by side.

Instead the JLP agents have opted to wear white instead of the party colour.

A woman told the Observer earlier that green clad labourites are usually not to be found in this PNP enclave.

Meanwhile the handful of soldiers and police are milling around with no order to keep as there are no crowds to control.

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